12:45 p.m. It’s been a very long day and it is not even lunch time yet. Meredith is having a whale of a time running around the exhibition and filling in the questionnaire we have been given. She is such a bloody geek.
I am attempting to concentrate on the questions as well, but in all honesty I am just watching Ben. How come he is not getting all hot and bothered trying to battle holding a clip-board and manage a coat and a bag at the same time? The museum has its heating ramped to the max and I am sweating freely.
Sweating not glowing.
Ben is just swanning around looking all intellectual and cool at the same time. Every so often pulling his battered leather notebook out of his back pocket and then thoughtfully jotting things down.
12.50 p.m. I give a loud humph of disgruntlement and hike my annoying bag higher onto my shoulder, before I head off to another display, leaving Ben to look all irritatingly cool and collected.
A couple of moments later I feel hands lifting the strap off my shoulder. Ben takes my bag and then puts it onto his own shoulder.
“It’s pink,” I state unnecessarily. He looks at me and flashes his killer grin, before heading back over to the display that is so absorbing his attention. I watch him go, swaggering off with my pink backpack and allow myself grin of my own. It’s kind of hard not to.
“Yep, there are some definite flaws coming to light,” Meredith whispers in my ear.
“What? He is just holding my bag to help me out,” I explain.
“So why are you grinning like a buffoon?”
“I rest my case.”
2:00 p.m. Thank goodness that is over. We have been let go and have all dashed to freedom like our lives depend on it.
“Do you guys fancy a drink?” Ben asks as we wander away from the museum.
I nearly fall over the pavement. I am about to make up an excuse when Meredith beats me to it.
“That sounds like a great idea Ben. Come on lets go.” She singsongs, grabbing hold of my arm and wrapping hers around it as if she thinks I might bolt at any moment. I give her a small shrug and shake of my head when he is not looking. She just grins and shrugs back.
I have a very bad feeling about this.
Eventually, after twenty minutes of wandering aimlessly about, we find a suitable pub. By suitable I mean it ticks all my and Ben’s criteria for the perfect pub.
It is full of old people who are all day drunk.
It has a random dog, which later on we will decide is our best friend.
It does not sell food, only crisps and nuts, and it smells of old farts.
Meredith looks about in disgust as we come through the door. She is more into sleek sterile wine bars like Tristan. Ben and I used to tease them that their drinking habits had no soul, and they used to say that ours were insanitary and unhealthy. That seems like a lifetime ago now.
“Pint Lilah?” he asks.
I should say no. So of course I say yes.
Meredith nods her head as well. This is really not good. Meredith cannot drink pints to save her life.
5:00 p.m. I am right. It is not good. Meredith is completely off her trolley and has just been sick in the toilet. Unfortunately, not in the toilet itself. We have had to call Tristan to come and escort her home. I should probably go home too.
7:00 p.m. Yep, I should have gone home.
I cannot see through both eyes anymore. I think Ben might be suffering with a similar vision impairment. Every time we turn to talk to one another we each have one eye closed, squinting through the open one.
We have given up talking for a while, we are just sitting in the dodgy old man pub alongside each other. I have my head on his shoulder—mainly because I am having problems keeping it upright—and he is drawing patterns in the palm of my right hand.
7.15 p.m. “So what do you want to do Delilah?”
I think I may have dosed off. The pattern tracing is very relaxing.
“What do you want to do when Uni is finished?”
Oh god! It’s that question.
“I have no idea.”
“What? No idea at all? I don’t believe you.”
“I do not know what I want to do in two years’ time. I can’t even see further than four months away at the moment.”
This is what I think I am saying. It could be completely different.
“Why can’t you see any further than four months away?”
His lips are close to my ear sending shivers down my arm despite my many blue layers. I say the words before I can stop them. The moment they are out I want to grab them and shove them back in my mouth.
“Because you will not be here.”
He does not say anything, just looks at me through one blue eye.
“I’ll get another drink,” is all he finally says in response as he pushes up away from the bench we are sitting on. I should stop him. I have had too much already. I don’t.